Minnesota Debates Blue Laws for Craft Beer: EOT Beer News

I remember growing up in Louisiana and hearing my mother explaining to me why many stores were closed on Sundays: she told me that they were closed because of the blue laws. Blue laws are laws that forbid certain activities on special religious days, due to religious beliefs. In the US, this translates to laws that forbid certain business transactions from taking place on Sundays. Louisiana used to force most business to close on Sunday. Then, as things began to change, only certain businesses, like bars, had to be closed on Sunday. These days, as far as I know in Louisiana, stores can not sell any alcoholic beverage until noon on Sundays, and bars must close at midnight on Sundays, instead of the usual 2am closing time for other days.

My personal opinion is that blue laws are outdated holdovers from a different phase of US society. In the 1950s, almost everyone shared the same religious beliefs and cultural sensibilities, so I can understand the blue laws representing the will of the people. But in the year 2014, I do not believe that the same circumstances exist. Like it or not, US culture has changed, and most Americans do not believe that Sundays are holy days on which certain activities should be forbidden. In fact, the idea of a Sabbath on which people should not work comes from the Old Testament, and actually occurs on Saturday, not on Sunday. But I digress.

These days in Minnesota, the Teamsters workers union is aggressively opposing a bill that would make it legal for craft brewers to open their taprooms on Sundays to sell glass mugs and growlers of beer to customers. Craft brewery owners are also forming an alliance to oppose the Teamsters. The history is that taprooms have already been forbidden from opening on Sundays, but the bill would exempt craft brewers and their taprooms. But the Teamsters suddenly showed opposition to the bill, for reasons which are still mysterious.

After all, the craft brewers do not employ Teamsters on Sundays to pour and serve beer, and local, craft breweries do not take business from giant beer corporations. Teamster representatives have not offered any explanations. I see this as a paranoid attempt to try to alter Minnesota beer culture by Big Labor: if they can stop small craft breweries from succeeding, then they can somehow promote big brewers of crappy, watery beer, and thus protect the jobs and benefits of their employees. Thus, I completely support the bill, and oppose the Teamsters. After all, power to the people I say, and if the people actually want flavorful, quality beer on Sundays, instead of being forced to buy Crap Light in a can from the grocery store, then who are the Teamsters to oppose them?

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